Says opponent Ted Cruz has not led businesses.

Tom Leppert on Friday, April 13th, 2012 in a Republican US Senate debate at WFAA-TV, Channel 8, in Dallas.

Tom Leppert says Ted Cruz has not led businesses

Republican U.S. Senate hopefuls (l. to r.) David Dewhurst, Tom Leppert, Ted Cruz and Craig James at the April 13, 2012, Belo Debate in Dallas. Leppert and James did not advance to the July 2012 runoff (Source: WFAA-TV, Channel 8, Dallas).

Businessman and former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert says fellow candidate Ted Cruz, a Houston lawyer, has a meaningful gap in his background.

During the April 13, 2012, Republican U.S. Senate debate at WFAA-TV in Dallas, Cruz asked Leppert to comment on another candidate’s position on wage taxes. Leppert didn’t go there, instead replying: "The reality of it is that you have been a terrific staffer in the attorney general’s office. But the reality of it is you haven’t led businesses. So when you start talking about these issues, on how they impact business, to you it’s really an academic exercise. To me, it’s a career."

Has Cruz never led a business?

In a telephone interview, Leppert spokesman Daniel Keylin told us that Leppert based his claim on Cruz’s biography as presented on Cruz’s campaign website.

Cruz says in the site’s biographical section that he is now a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in Houston, where he "leads the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national appellate litigation practice." From 2003 to 2008, the section says, Cruz was the state’s solicitor general, leading state government’s legal appeals before state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court. (Cruz was appointed to the post by Attorney General Greg Abbott, the state’s chief lawyer.)

From 2004 to 2009,  the entry says, Cruz also taught U.S. Supreme Court litigation as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law. And before that, the entry indicates, he held back-to-back federal posts and helped George W. Bush run for president.

"Prior to serving as solicitor general, Ted served as the director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission," Cruz’s entry says. He earlier was "an associate deputy attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice," according to the entry, after serving as "domestic policy advisor on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign.

"In addition, Ted clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist on the U.S. Supreme Court," the entry says.

We asked Cruz’s campaign if Leppert’s claim about his not leading any businesses holds up. Spokesman James Bernsen pointed to Cruz’s campaign biography.

We rate Leppert’s claim as True.